Sunday, April 27, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

Title: Punchy Language
Author: Mark Feldman

Theme: Phrases that start with boxing punches:

  • HOOKED ON PHONICS (17a: Product that can ordered by calling 1-800-ABCDEFG).
  • JABBERWOCKY (35a: Poem that begins "Twas brillig").
  • CROSSWORD SOLVER (56a: You, right now)

I guess finding phrases for "straight right" and "uppercut" is a bit much to ask, so it's an okay theme for a Monday. I do like the reference to Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky", which happens to be one of the few poems I can recite from memory.

Sunny Spots:

Let's start with the wonderful crossing of BEER CAN (37d: Frat party leftover) and RED MEAT (51a: Mutton, e.g.). Between this and the boxing theme, can this puzzle get anymore masculine? Add in 16a: "American ___" (1999 Jason Biggs movie) (PIE) and 6d: Baseball Hall of Famer Boggs (WADE), whose extramarital girlfriend posed for Penthouse back in the 80's, and you've got yourself a guy's guy puzzle going! RAH RAH! (1d: Enthusiastic). Finally, we'll cap it off with a war reference, 24d: Civil War general (SHERMAN), a plate of NACHOS (27a: Cheesy snacks), and a pair of ARGYLES (21a: Socks with diamond-shaped patterns).


  • RUHR shows its head for a second puzzle in a row, this time clued not as the river but as simple 9d: Germany's ___ Valley.

  • Awkward fill includes one RE-, 1a: Broadcast again (RESHOW) and two -ERs, 20a Agent of maturation (RIPENER) and 32a: Snake, at times (HISSER). I also couldn't help wanting to see 38d 10-time Gold Glove winner Alomar be SPITTER. But no, it's ROBERTO. For those who don't remember, Roberto infamously spit at an umpire back in 1996 during an argument over a called third-strike. Classy!

  • Besides the above-mentioned HOOKED ON PHONICS, there were some other advertising clues, including LESS TAR (13d: Light cigarette ad claim), PSA (public service announcement) for 30a: Ad Council ad, e.g.:Abbr., and SSN (457-55-5462, for LifeLock CEO Todd Davis).

Suns of Bitches:

No real trouble spots, as one would expect from a Monday. I couldn't remember ELOISE (2d Plaza girl created by Kay Thompson), but I've seen it before and certainly knew it was right once it fit. Also had a false start with DROP IN instead of STOP IN for 3d: Visit briefly, and initially (no pun intended) thought 19d: S.I. is part of it was referring to Sports Illustrated, not Staten Island.

All in all, a nice Monday.

Thanks for listening.

- Pete M.


Joon said...

hey, am i the first commenter here?

i like the blog. it definitely fills a niche.

this was a very fast puzzle for me (fastest sun ever), but i just have one question... who the hell is lifelock CEO todd davis, and why is his SSN in the crossword puzzle? isn't that, you know, kind of unsafe?

Pete M said...

Yes, you're the first commenter. Welcome to the blog!

The whole concept of Lifelock is to protect your identity, even if someone gets your SSN. That's why the CEO blatantly gives his out; because it's supposedly not unsafe if you subscribe to their service.

Joon said...

i guess that makes sense now. i'd never heard of lifelock. (the NYS should really charge them some advertising revenue.)